Should your technicians expect tips?

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Drew Lund

Customer Success Manager at Cedar Systems. Industry expert with experience in multiple sectors across pest control. Executed successful programs in customer success, operations strategy, business and franchise development, and technical project management.

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Should Your Technicians Expect Tips? Tipping Protocol in the Pest Control Industry

Service industry employees are some of the hardest working people on the earth. Without them, our society would be on the verge of collapse.

Take pest control technicians, for example. Without their services, restaurants, homes, hospitals, and more could be at risk of an infestation — rodents and bugs would take up residence anywhere there is food.

With all the good they do for us, should your technicians expect tips?

We’ll share everything we know about industry standards and expectations and then leave the decision to you.

Tipping a Pest Control Technician: The Technician’s Perspective

At Cedar Pest, we’re experts in the field of pest control. Having worked as pest control operators and technicians for many years, we answer the question, “should your technicians expect tips” from an industry perspective.

Should Your Technicians Expect Tips?

In short, no. Tipping is not an industry expectation for pest control technicians. 

On average, technicians earn a salary or hourly wage that is more than double the federal minimum wage. This means they won’t be depending on tips as part of their income, unlike a restaurant server or a hotel housekeeper, for example, who typically earn no more than minimum wage.

Can Pest Control Technicians Accept Tips?

Pest control technicians can absolutely accept tips. Some homeowners or business owners might feel a sense of appreciation and want to reward a technician for a job well done. 

Some pest control technicians (PCTs) might feel awkward accepting a tip since it’s not typical, and no PCT should ever solicit a tip for services rendered. However, most PCTs will appreciate the gesture and show their gratitude.

Can Pest Control Business Owners Take Tips From Their Technicians?

If an employer feels they’re paying a competitive wage and don’t want their customers to feel obligated to tip, the employer may establish a company policy that prohibits employees from accepting tips.

However, employers are never allowed to take tips from their employees (where tips are allowed) under any circumstance.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor and the “Tip Regulations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)” which became effective on April 20, 2021:

  • An employer cannot keep employees’ tips under any circumstances; managers and supervisors also may not keep tips received by employees, including through tip pools;
  • An employer that pays the full minimum wage and takes no tip credit may allow employees who are not tipped employees (for example, cooks and dishwashers) to participate in the tip pool;
  • An employer that collects tips to facilitate a mandatory tip pool generally must fully redistribute the tips within the pay period; and,
  • Employers that do not take a tip credit, but collect employees’ tips to operate a mandatory tip pool, must maintain and preserve payroll or other records containing information on each employee who receives tips and the weekly or monthly amount reported by the employee, to the employer, of tips received.

Tipping a Pest Control Technician: A Homeowner’s Perspective

As people, we know that it’s human nature to want to reward a job well done, especially in the United States. We take the angle of a homeowner or business owner regarding tipping a pest control technician.

Should Homeowners Tip Pest Control Technicians?

Tipping pest control technicians is neither a requirement nor is it common. You should never feel obligated to tip a technician, but you might feel inclined, especially if the technician goes above and beyond the duties of the service call.

It’s completely up to the individual homeowner or business owner to decide to tip.

Can Homeowners Tip Pest Control Technicians?

While there should be no expectation or solicitation of a tip, you can absolutely tip your PCT. As mentioned above, the technician may decline the tip if a company policy prevents them from accepting it — but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer it.

In many cases, homeowners or business owners see the same technician as part of a prepaid and scheduled service and might want to show appreciation, especially during the holidays.

So, if you want to tip your technician, first ask them if they are allowed to accept tips. If they can’t accept tips, be sure to leave a review for the company and mention the technician by name. They just might be rewarded by the company for a job well done.

How Much Should You Tip a Pest Control Technician?

The pest control industry doesn’t have a set standard for tipping since there’s no expectation, and it’s not typical to receive tips. But that doesn’t mean that a tip won’t be well-received and appreciated.

Depending on the quality and efficacy of the service, you may decide to tip $5-10. During the holidays, you may decide to tip with a grocery or restaurant gift card. 

If you don’t have money and would like to show your gratitude another way, you may want to offer your technician a cold drink or snacks for the road.

Reasons You May Want To Tip Your Pest Control Technician

Some technicians go above and beyond, it’s just part of their nature. As a homeowner or business owner, you might appreciate a technician who:

  • Moves furniture — Getting into the nooks and crannies is a critical part of pest control. Homeowners may appreciate a technician that does the heavy lifting rather than expecting them to do it.
  • Cleans up — Pest control can be a messy business. While you wouldn’t expect everything to be wet with overspray, some PCTs may go out of their way to make sure everything is left the way it was found.
  • Provides education — A technician who takes the time to educate customers about ways to reduce the possibility of infestation in the future, rather than rushing out the door to the next job, is going beyond the call of duty. You may feel this extra attention deserves a tip.
  • Is consistent — When you see the same PCT every visit, you get to know the quality of their work, and when it’s consistent and you’re always left feeling satisfied, you might be inclined to reward the technician.

Reasons Not To Tip Your Pest Control Technician

Even if you’ve tipped your pest control technician in the past, it doesn’t mean you should always tip them. Just as there are circumstances when you might want to tip your PCT, there are definitely circumstances when you simply should not tip. For example:

  • Damaged property — Carelessness on the job can lead to damaged property or goods. If your technician rushed through a job and it resulted in permanent damage, you shouldn’t tip. In most cases, damage is accidental, but it should be avoided by the technician at all costs.
  • Poor communication — In the service industry, communication is key. A technician may be running late from a prior service appointment or may need to reschedule due to a flat tire or other extenuating circumstances. However, if they don’t communicate or are impolite when they arrive, they definitely don’t deserve a tip.
  • Unsatisfactory service — If the job that was paid for is not the job that was done, then you aren’t likely to want to tip. In these cases, it’s always best to call the pest control operator and find out what can be done, whether it’s a second visit to redo the job or a full refund.

Cedar Pest Software: Giving Pest Control Technicians the Tools They Need To Provide Top-Notch Customer Support

As a pest control operator, you want your technicians to be able to offer the type of service that would be worthy of a tip. This means your technicians should be punctual, knowledgeable, and efficient in their work.

Cedar Pest offers pest control software that is designed to help PCOs streamline their entire service, serve more customers, and get better results.

The best technicians deserve the best tools, like:

  • Accurate scheduling and routing, so technicians never miss an appointment.
  • Payment processing, so technicians don’t have to waste time chasing payments.
  • Customer management tools, so technicians can provide top-notch service.
  • Mobile tools, so technicians can complete jobs efficiently from anywhere.

Give your customers the incentive to tip — even if your company policy prohibits it — by giving your technicians tip-worthy tools. Give them Cedar Pest. 

Click here to schedule a demo.

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